Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that a challenge to the state ban on so-called “assault weapons” be denied review, arguing that such firearms have been used in several mass shootings, according to a report in The Daily Record.
Frosh may be facing a daunting task because 25 of his colleagues—attorneys general from literally half of all the states in the nation—have already submitted an amicus brief to the high court, supporting the petition for review from plaintiffs in the case. It is one of several amicus briefs submitted in the case, but because of its nature, it may be one of the most influential.
The case is known as Dominic Bianchi et al. v. Brian E. Frosh et al., No. 21-902. Plaintiffs include the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Firearms Policy Coalition, Field Traders gun shop in Anne Arundel County and three private citizens.
According to the Daily Record, Frosh was “chief sponsor of the 2013 Firearm Safety Act and shepherded the bill” through the state Senate, when he served in that body as a state senator. Therefore, he has what might be considered a special interest in preventing the legislation from being overturned, because it was his legislation. The law bans 45 “assault-style weapons, including the AR-15,” the newspaper noted.
In his argument, the newspaper said, Frosh cited several attacks involving semi-auto rifles including Sandy Hook Elementary, the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, the Las Vegas music festival attack and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
There was a signal from the Supreme Court that it could be giving serious consideration to accepting the case for review in January when the court asked Frosh to respond to the plaintiff’s petition for review. Initially, Frosh’s office did not offer a response.
This is the second time the Maryland ban has been challenged, but that was when the court did not have a strong conservative majority. The majority will not change with the seating later this year of Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.
The support shown for this case has impressed SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.
“When the possession of commonly-owned firearms by private citizens is criminalized, it is imperative for good, like-minded people to stand together and defend constitutional rights,” Gottlieb observed. “The support we are receiving in this case is both humbling and reassuring. We are hopeful the Supreme Court grants our petition for review. Banning the possession and transport of a whole class of commonly-owned firearms is an affront to the Second Amendment that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.”